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Barasch & McGarry Recognizes National Thyroid Awareness Month

January 31, 2021 | Michael Barasch

Almost half a million people who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins after 9/11 have a disproportionately elevated risk of developing 68 different types of cancer, including thyroid cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 44,280 new cases of thyroid cancer (12,150 in men and 32,130 in women) will be diagnosed in the United States in 2021, and about 2,200 people will pass from thyroid cancer.

Barasch & McGarry represents hundreds of 9/11 first responders and survivors who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, including many young adults who never expected to hear the word “cancer” at this stage of their lives.

Unlike many other cancers, thyroid cancer often impacts younger adults. Two in three people diagnosed with thyroid cancer are under the age of 55.

The risk factors for thyroid cancer include a diet low in iodine (not a major risk for most Americans), family history, genetics, and exposure to radiation – that includes 9/11 toxic exposure.

Generally, individuals diagnosed with thyroid cancer have a good prognosis, with a five-year survival rate of 98% when found early and not spread past the gland.

Early detection is key! During a physical exam, your doctor will examine your neck to feel for physical changes in your thyroid—such as thyroid nodules—and might ask about your risk factors, such as past exposure to radiation and a family history of thyroid tumors.

If you were in Lower Manhattan after 9/11, it is imperative that you discuss with your primary care provider the link between Ground Zero toxins and your increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.

If you are diagnosed with thyroid cancer or any of the other 68 cancers or respiratory diseases impacting the 9/11 community, we can help you access resources through the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. 

Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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